South Carolina filmmaker Bud Ferillo to highlight state’s failures

Filmmaker Bud Ferillo aims to raise awareness about living conditions in South Carolina, a state that consistently ranks near the bottom of most national rankings.

Bud Ferillo, who gained notoriety in 2006 for his documentary Corridor of Shame, which exposed the dismal conditions in South Carolina’s rural schools, announced Thursday that is about to begin work on a film titled State of Denial. According to the 10th generation Charlestonian, the new work will highlight problems that include poverty, teen pregnancy, pollution, lack of rural health care, and overcrowded prisons.

“South Carolina is responsible for some of the worst ideas in American history—slavery, state’s rights, nullification, civil war, separate and unequal education, and minimally adequate education. All constitute an extraordinary burden of history that holds us back,” said Ferillo in a recent interview.

But the filmmaker, who operates a public relations firm in Columbia, emphasizes that he is not out to shame South Carolina. He says he is simply aiming to raise awareness about living conditions in a state that consistently ranks near the bottom of most national rankings, a place where “Thank God for Mississippi” is often invoked to explain how the state avoids being ranked dead last.